Jaipur is a city in India, situated in the North Western part of it and a capital of the state Rajasthan – the ancient desert country of the Rajputs – an Indian caste of warriors, honoured as by the Moguls, as well as by the British. The population of Jaipur is around 3 million residents. It was established in 1727 by Jai Singh II and it is at distance of 265 km from the capital Delhi. They call city of Jaipur the “Pink city”, because of the pink colour of the stone, used for the construction of the buildings. It is deemed that Jaipur is the first city in India with an urban planning. At its building was used an ancient Hindu architectural doctrine, which is grounded on astrological omens.
The city is built under the form of a mandala (a circle) of nine parts, each one of which corresponds to one of the astrological signs. All streets in the city follow direction East-West and North-South. The whole of it is surrounded by a fortress wall. A long time ago the city has extended outside the fortress, but even now the doors of the fortress are opened at sunrise and are closed at sunset. The ruler Jai Singh has had architectural and astronomical knowledge and has built city of Jaipur as realization of his striving for majesty and beauty. The popularity of Jaipur comes also and from the fact that in it is situated the biggest center for processing of precious stones in the world, and also one of the biggest producers of manually stuck carpets. Because of its interesting landmarks, it is a desired place for visits by the tourists.
One of the greatest landmarks of Jaipur is the Palace of the winds (Hawa Mahal). Built in 1799, it has the form of a crown of the Indian god Krishna. This impressive building, built out of pink sandstone, has five floors. At the central facade are situated 935 small windows, from which the women could observe the life outside the palace, without anyone to notice them. Besides, the palace is built in such a way, so the breeze, which passes along the numerous windows, creates coolness and in the summer heats.
The city palace is the other landmark of Jaipur. Situated in the very city, it was built between 1729 and 1732. Actually, the city palace represents a whole complex of palaces and gardens. Unique as architecture, all buildings are predominantly pink. In the inside interior of the palace prevail the columns, which are not just columns, and they are ornated, as every two column form an arch, and they are numerous. From the ceilings are hanging fantastic lampshades, and the ceilings and the walls are painted with gorgeous drawings.
In one of the halls of the palace is situated an arms collection with around 2000 exhibits, as among them pistols, incrusted with gold and brilliants, daggers with two edges, helmets and steel maces. In one of the entrances of the palace are exhibited two big silver vessels for water, elaborated especially for transportation of holy water from Gang river, at a visit of the maharaja in London in 1902.
Nowadays in the biggest part of the Palace complex lives the royal family.
Jantar Mantar is a collection of astronomical apparatuses, built by maharaja Jai Singh II within the period between 1727 and 1734. The astronomical observatory in Jaipur is executed on the analogy of the one in Delhi. It is called Jantar Mantar, which literally means instruments for calculation. This stone astronomical observatory is considered for the biggest in the world. By its help is forecasted the movement of the planets and stars and is done a precise weather forecast and until nowadays. The sun clock on its territory is the biggest in the world. The astronomical observatory Jantar Mantar is included in the list for world cultural heritage of UNESCO.
The water palace or Jal Mahal was built in 18 century in the artificial lake Man Sagar, which is situated between the historical city Amber and Jaipur. The name of the palace comes from the fact that it is situated in the middle of the very lake. It was used for a summer residence and for hunting of wild ducks. There is an especially done road to the palace. The palace has five floors, but above the water is only the top floor, as the rest are under the water. Only during the summer, when the water of the lake decreases are visible and the other four floors. The walk through the garden of the palace and the view from the beautiful balconies towards the surrounding Nagargarh hills, is something impressive.
Amber, or Amer fortress is situated at 11 km from city of Jaipur and is located on one hill with dense vegetation. The place was chosen because of a better defensive safety. The construction of the fortress began in 16 century by raja Man Sigha I, but it was finished much later by his heir Je Singh I. This fortress – palace is one architectural masterpiece, in which is visible the influence of the Hindu and Muslim cultures. The Amber fortress is divided in 4 basic parts, each one of which has at its disposal a separate entrance and a patio. Most important was the entrance from the East part of the fortress, which was intended for the ruler and was called „the Door of the Sun“. This entrance led towards the yard, in which the raja carried out review of the defenders of the fortress. Here used to be the place for the horses. From the second patio imposing stairs used to lead to the guest hall, which is supported by a double row of columns, each one of which has a capital with the shape of an elephant. The third part of the fortress is completely separated from the royal palaces. Here is situated the hall with thousand mirrors, in which only one lamp reflects in the multitude of mirrors and lights up the whole premise, transforming it into a fabulous world. The fourth part of the fortress used to belong to the wives and concubines of the raja. Each of the rooms was connected with the bedroom of the maharaja with secret stairs and corridors.
The walls of the palace are decorated with magnificent paintings of hunting scenes. The ceilings are beautifully drawn and together with the wood carvings represent something enchanting.
The palace complex reflects itself in the tranquil waters of the Maota lake and looks fabulously, especially in the evening.
To the foot of the fortress can be reached by a bus. Upwards is very popular the movement by elephants to the door of the fortress.
The visit of Jaipur in March is particularly interesting, when is celebrated Holi or the Festival of the flowers and the Festival of the elephants.